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The PV Q&A: The Maine Frontman John O'Callaghan and Photographer Dirk Mai Interview Each Other on New Book

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For four years, photographer Dirk Mai has followed the Maine around the world and back. Mai, along with the band, have announced a book to commemorate their times together, titled Roads, which is available for pre-order now at this link.

To celebrate, the Maine frontman John O'Callaghan got together with Mai to ask each other a few questions about the book. Check it out below!

John O'Callaghan's Questions for Dirk Mai
John O'Callaghan: Is there a favorite photo you have taken from the being on the road with us over the past few years?
Dirk Mai: There really are quite a few, but two of my favorites are actually of you: A) The one of you in the dumpster in the UK and B) The one of you climbing through the side window of the Cartel run bar in South America.

Do you find it more or less difficult to photograph us given our close relationship?
It's so much less difficult for me now. All of the vulnerabilities of getting whatever shot I need are gone. I'm completely at ease with being in all of your faces or invading your spaces, so I really find it gives me so much more freedom to fully document you guys to the most true and rarest forms without any hesitation.

Can you share a favorite place or favorite moment you've experienced while traveling with us?
Amsterdam, because my father was from Holland and it was such an incredible opportunity for me to get to see where he grew up as a boy, and to see a part of where I came from. South America [was also a favorite] because It was just such an eye opener and so much different from any other place I've ever been before. I really fell in love with the landscape and energy down there. 

Is there a moment that has stuck out in your mind that you wish you would have had your camera to capture? I'm sure there are quite a few you wish you hadn't had your camera for.
After a long day of work, everyone likes to, at some point, shut off 'work mode' and turn on 'relax' mode.

For everyone on tour, that usually means letting loose, going out to drink, partying, and exploring new places. Unlike everyone else on tour, my job never ends—I am there to document what goes on behind the scenes. Late at night when everyone is 'relaxing' is generally when the action happens.

I'm usually pretty good about taking my camera with me everywhere we go no matter the hour, but their have definitely been a few nights where I've just needed to switch it off and leave the camera behind. Of course, it's these nights that I instantly regret it but I suppose that's why I carry my point and shoot.

What do you think makes Roads different from any of the other collaborations we've done together?
I'd say: the amount of time, energy and passion that has gone into it. We've literally been working on this since we met.


Dirk Mai's Questions for John O'Callaghan
Dirk Mai: What's your most memorable photo I've taken of you?
John O'Callaghan: Even though I don't quite remember you taking it, there is a photo of me in a dumpster after a long night in the UK. It perfectly captured the tomfoolery that occurs when young men are allowed to play rock music around the globe for a living.

Are there any iconic rock photos that stand out to you from the past?
There are quite a few rock photos that stand out to me. But three photos in particular are head and shoulders above the rest in my mind: The first would be of Zeppelin in front of their plane, the second of Paul Simonon smashing his bass on the cover of London Calling by the Clash, and the third of a young Brian Jones and Keith Richards of the Stones sitting poolside sipping drinks in their pool gear. Classsssssic.

What's your comfort level with me always being in your face with my camera—sober/drunk/high's/lows/indisposed/etc.—from when I met you 'til now?
I feel like I've always been comfortable around you and the camera, but these days, the camera doesn't exist. I believe that's what make the photos you take special. We have created a relationship that promotes a truly honest representation of who we are when you are behind the lens.

Have you ever gotten annoyed having my camera in your face?
I'm not big on being photographed or videotaped to begin with. I've always felt like people change when they know either is happening, and never wanted to be one that fell in that category. That being said, a good photographer (like yourself) knows when the time is "right" to have the camera out and about, or when not to. Not sure if that answers your question.

Documenting 'the journey' photographically has always been a big role in the history of the Maine. I feel you guys expose yourselves more than most bands do. As a photographer, it's the ideal situation. What's your take on it? What do you find most important about the process?
The most important factor is the comfort level. Hands down that is what makes for candid photos free of deceit and gimmicks. Sincerity is the ideal situation.

 
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